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How are disturbed characters present in 'Salome' and 'Havisham'?

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Introduction

How are disturbed characters presented in âSalomeâ and âHavishamâ? In Carol Ann Duffyâs poems, âSalomeâ and â Havishamâ aggression and violence towards men is an ever-present theme. Each poem is spoken in the narrative voice of the ladies (whom the poems are named after), who throughout express signs of mental instability. Bitterness and hatred towards men is shown, both in words and in actions. Havisham constantly voices her murderous thoughts but never actually commits murder however Salome thinks murderous thoughts and does commit murder. The two ladies also have a distinguished characteristic in the fact Havisham shuns men and society, not wanting to go near âman-kindâ with a barge pole whereas Salome seeks men for revenge. In both poems Duffy has had influences from characters portrayed in other peoples text. It is apparent that Duffy has used Charles Dickensâ Havisham from great expectations to write a poetic monologue as well as extrapolating references from the story of biblical Salome to form her modern day character.

Middle

Anyone who murders is not in the sanest frame of mind let alone someone who sleeps with there victim prior. Salome is presented as a disturbed and dangerous sexual predator. Salome shows she is disturbed by her lack of concern â what was his name? Peter? Simon? Andrew? John? â. Salome shows disregard, as she cannot even remember the name of the man she has slept with and killed. Most people remember the name of someone who theyâve just met! When Salome lists the name it also gives us another insight into the colossal scale of men she has probably slept with. It also makes references to the bible, as the names she lists are the names of disciples. Salome seems outwardly confident â good looking of courseâ, despite the fact she knows she is murdering someone, she still strives for the best. This statement almost seems as if Salome would expect no less. This shows she must view herself as quite attractive yet uses this as a weapon.

Conclusion

At this point most normal people would be feeling sympathetic towards their victim. Salome shows herself as cold. When Salome calls on her maid and then says sheâs going to âclean up her actâ, she literally means clean up. She goes on to âturf out the blighterâ and literally get a move on. Though some people may interpret Salome cleaning up her act as remorseful she soon reverts to her old psychotic ways. Another disturbed characteristic is the fact Salome knows what sheâs doing is wrong â whoâd come like a lamb to the slaughter to Salomeâs bedâ. Salome is comparing her bed to a slaughterhouse, which is a place where things are mass murdered. Salome is callous and uncaring â and ainât life a bitch-â, this shows how uncaring she is and how she finds the situation quite humorous. She in no way feels guilt her eyes â glitter in the tile mirrorâ. The word glittering insinuates that she is contented and proud. Similarly in Duffyâs Havisham, Havisham is presented as an extremely disturbed lady as well. She too shows signs of mental instability.

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